S12-701: Talking to Triangles

Track: Leadership Perspectives for Testers

As a testing representative (tester, test lead or test manager), how frequently are you in a project meeting and you feel like what you’re saying is not even being heard or understood by many team members? How often do you feel the information being shared with you is not relevant or important to you, your team or your work? How often does it feel like the project communication is just flying right by everyone’s heads but that true understanding is not taking place? Well all that talking and communicating takes a lot of time and it should be worth it. When it’s not fruitful, what can you do from your perspective to try and improve the outcome?

I believe most communication problems stem from a lack of common-ness. Things as simple as having a common vocabulary, to the complex issues of understanding the goals, objectives, and the priorities of the project in a similar way. Varying perspectives in project teams are vitally important to avoid missing key and crucial issues, but varying perspectives in terminology and interpretations of goals can be debilitating to communication.

What I propose in this session is a way to reorient your communication style and tune it to the needs of the project. In other words, learn how to talk Triangle! When you start to use the language of the triangle, it should be easier to communicate key issues, as well as easier to obtain and interpret vital information from the team. We’ll start our discussion focused on the project management triangle (also known as the triple constraint) and use that as a basis for our TriangleSpeak language translator. Then we’ll extend our focus to look at other triple constraints that affect software projects and testing, and then address some of the other subtle triangles lurking around software projects. Bring your successes and your challenges so we can discuss ideas for customizing your project translator!

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Session Speaker:

Dawn HaynesDawn Haynes – Consultant and Sr. Trainer, PerfTestPlus, Inc.
Dawn Haynes is a Senior Trainer and Consultant for PerfTestPlus, and Secretary of the Association for Software Testing. A highly regarded trainer of software testers, she blends experience and humor to provide testers of all levels with tools and techniques to help them generate new approaches to common and complex software testing problems. In addition to training, Dawn is particularly passionate about improving the state of performance testing across the industry. She has more than 20 years of experience supporting, administering, developing and testing software and hardware systems, from small business operations to large corporate enterprises. Dawn holds a BSBA in MIS with a minor in programming from Northeastern University.